{Previ Culinary} Asian Asparagus and Edamame Salad

This Asian inspired salad packs a ton of flavor and nutrition, not to mention it is visually stunning. Full of protein, beta carotene, and antioxidants, this great tasting salad will become a week night go-to. Have it as a side dish or as an entree topped with grilled shrimp or fish!

Asian Asparagus and Edamame Salad

Written By: PreviMedica Culinary Advisors

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, woody ends trimmed off and sliced very fine into small coins
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 cup edamame, steamed and cooled
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

For the Dressing:

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 Tbsp. organic soy sauce or organic tamari
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the salad ingredients into a large bowl.
  2. For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well. Pour dressing over salad and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the sesame seeds.
  3. Chill before consuming for at least two hours.

Copy of Healthy Potato Skins

Megan Huard, Chef RD and Stefanie Gates, chef, are regular contributors to our blog and culinary advisors for PreviMedica. They enjoy developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. You can learn more about them here and here.

Crispy Crabless Cakes with Horseradish Aioli

You’re going to love these crabless cakes! Our nutrition director, Amy, has made these for us several times, and we just had to get the recipe. Vegetarian or not, we promise they will be a hit. The secret ingredient? Find out below!

Crispy Crabless Cakes with Horseradish Aioli

(Adapted from: Vegan Comfort Classics by Lauren Toyota)

Serves: 5

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups drained marinated artichoke hearts, finely chopped plus 2 Tbsp. liquid
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallot (about 1 small shallot)
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery (about 1 stalk)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup chickpea flour
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning (or ¼ tsp. celery salt, ¼ tsp. dry mustard, ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper, pinch each of cinnamon, cardamom, clove)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1-2 cups olive oil for frying

Breading:

  • ¼ cup chickpea flour
  • 1 ¼ cups GF bread crumbs (or can use equal amounts of GF oats + almond flour)
  • ½ cup unsweetened DF milk

Directions:

  1. Place all the ingredients for the crabless cakes, except the oil, in a large bowl.  Combine well with a fork. It’s important that the artichokes, shallots, and celery are very small and uniformly chopped so that the cakes will stick together while frying.
  2. You should have a ½ inch of oil in a large heavy bottomed pan for frying.  Heat it to a temperature of 350-360 degrees on a deep frying thermometer.
  3. To make the breading, place the chickpea flour in a wide, shallow dish.  Use another shallow dish for the bread crumbs and a bowl for the milk.
  4. Take ¼ cup of the crabless cake mixture and press and form it into a thick patty with your hands.  Gently place the cake in the chickpea flour and coat all sides evenly. Quickly submerge it in milk and make sure all the flour looks wet. Remove it from the milk and place in the bread crumbs.  Using your hands, coat all sides of the cake well in the bread crumbs.  Then lightly shake off any excess.  Set the coated cakes on a plate or baking sheet.  Once they’re all assembled, immediately deep-fry in batches.
  5. Delicately place 2 or 3 cakes in the hot oil.  Fry for about 4 minutes until golden brown, flipping halfway through.  Gently remove the cakes with a slotted frying spoon and place on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
  6. Serve immediately with the aioli (recipe below).

 

Horesradish-Dill Aioli

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon vegan horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon  freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a bowl until well combined.

Meet Our Assistant Nutrition Manager: Eunice

March is National Nutrition Month and today, March 13th, is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day! To celebrate, we asked our assistant nutrition manager Eunice Holmes, RD, LDN to chat with us about what led her to a career in dietetics, her favorite nutrition topic, and of course-food!

Eunice Holmes has over 15 years of experience in the field of nutrition and has been part of the PreviMedica team since 2012. She is incredibly smart, funny, and the creative talent behind many of our PreviMedica resources. Eunice is always thinking of innovative ways to help us do our job more efficiently and we can’t thank her enough for it! We are extremely lucky to have her here.  Read more about her here:

Let’s get right to it: Did you always want to be an RD? Can you tell us more about when you decided that nutrition would be your career?

I had no idea you could even have a career in nutrition until I took a nutrition 101 class my freshman year of college! After that, I knew that talking about food was what I wanted to do, so I said goodbye to my interior design dreams (and all-nighters that I had to pull to get the homework done).

That discovery sounds a little too familiar!

So, talking about food to people, most of the time the conversation of changing their food options comes up. Changing eating habits (like most, if not all, change) can be quite challenging. How do you facilitate this process for your patients?

Well I don’t have too many opportunities to work with patients these days, but when I do, I just listen. Most people have already identified areas where change could happen, so that’s where we start. My job is to encourage and guide, not to give a long list of to-do’s. Many of the patients we work with are dealing with newly found food sensitivities, and that can be a big learning curve, but even then we take it step by step and look for solutions along the way. 

A step-by-step gradual approach sounds more sensible than a long to-do list!

Nutrition is such a broad field and I can confidently say here at PreviMedica, we are very well versed in different areas of nutrition. Do you have a favorite nutrition topic/area you enjoy most learning about, reading about, or counseling on?

Gut health is pretty trendy right now, but it’s definitely one of my favorite topics to read about, specifically the research on how it is connected to so many other conditions. Luckily we have access to a lot of great resources here at work. There is so much to learn and new information comes out every day, so I just try to keep up!

A lot of wellness experts do say “good health starts in the gut!” It is definitely a very interesting topic!

So, I know you love to get Parker involved in the kitchen. This is always something we encourage parents doing especially when their child is a selective eater. Do you have any advice or suggestions to any parents reading on how to get their kids more involved in the kitchen- whether their children are selective eaters or not? (Parker is Eunice’s 4 year-old adorable son)

My biggest piece of advice is to be willing to get messy. 🙂 Kids have those little uncoordinated fingers, so of course there are going to be spills and food all over the place. But I have seen time and time again that kids who get involved are MUCH more willing to try things, so it is definitely worth the mess. Some other tips: talk to them about what you will be doing beforehand (even if you think they are too little to understand); give them easy to cut items like bananas or mushrooms and let them use a butter knife; give them scraps to play with in a bowl while you do the complicated steps; play music while you cook (no particular reason other than it’s more fun that way).

Haha, getting messy can be fun-right? Thank you those were all great suggestions! Ok, now to some fun fact questions….

I know you’re a bit of a book worm, any good books you’ve read recently?

I loved Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Anything my Samantha Irby is good for a laugh. I’m currently reading one of Janet Lansbury’s parenting books because… 4 year old.

I have to admit, I selfishly asked that question since I’m almost done with my current book!

I know you were a candy-holic as a kid (wait, I think you still are!)…tell us what is your favorite candy?

Ugh… I love sour candy. If you’ve never had Sour Gummy Lifesavers you don’t know what you’re missing. But you know… fruit is good too!

Haha,  after all, fruit IS nature’s candy!

Knowing you personally, I know your love for doughnuts and pizza. What is your go-to pizza and doughnut flavor?

Sadly, pizza is not worth it anymore due to my inferior enzymes, but I have been known to enjoy a simple pepperoni and mushroom combo. As for doughnuts, whenever I can find a French culler, I am happy.

YUM and YUM! So we would definitely be able to share either (with our digestive enzymes for support!)

Coffee or wine? Coffee. No, wine.

The right answer there would be coffee AND wine! You should know that is always a trick question.

Favorite outdoor activity? At the beach, with a book.

I think you are living in the right state for that perfect combo!

Thanks so much for chatting and sharing with us, Eunice! You are so greatly appreciated here at PreviMedica and we are so lucky to have you on our team! And Happy Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day to our fellow nutrition professionals!

Previ Culinary: Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup

Try something different with cauliflower and make soup! This recipe is easy, healthy, and will warm your tummy on even the coldest of days. Not to mention, cauliflower is packed with nutrients to keep those germs at bay during cold and flu season.

 

Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Soup

(Adapted from: http://www.honestbody.com)

Serves:

Ingredients:

  • 10 – 15 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 7 Tbsp. ghee
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 4 c. homemade chicken stock

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Divide the cauliflower into florets.
  3. Put the cauliflower pieces and unpeeled garlic into a large bowl.
  4. Melt 3 Tbsp. of ghee in a saucepan and pour over vegetables. Stir to coat.
  5. Pour vegetables into shallow roasting pan and roast for 30 – 40 minutes.
  6. In a large soup pot, melt the remaining butter/coconut oil and sauté’ the onions until soft.
  7. Stir in the dried basil, add the stock and bring to a boil.
  8. Put the roasted vegetables in the pot.
  9. Peel the garlic and add as well.
  10. Blend with immersion blender and cook for another 5 minutes.


Megan Huard, Chef RD and Stefanie Gates, chef, are regular contributors to our blog and culinary advisors for PreviMedica. They enjoy developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. You can learn more about them here and here.

All Things Rosemary

Freshly picked selection:

Rosemary

Rosemary is originally from the Mediterranean but is now cultivated worldwide.  It is a woody perennial shrub that has silvery green needles that can be consumed.  Early on, it was used for medicinal purposes such as treating nervous system disorders and improving memory.  Rosemary is highly aromatic and its leaves are used in cooking, oils, and cosmetics to name a few.

What do I look for?

Rosemary leaves should be green and somewhat flexible.  The stem should be aromatic.  Discard rosemary that has turned brown or black.  Store in the refrigerator wrapped in damp paper towels.

Ways to Eat:

Rosemary is one of the most commonly found herbs.  The ways to use it are endless.  It can be used in salads, soups, casseroles, meats, fish, egg dishes, stuffings, and dressings.

Recipes:

If you love lamb, you know that lamb isn’t the same without rosemary.  This Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary is the perfect flavor combination.

Infuse your favorite olive oil with the flavor of rosemary!

This Lemon Rosemary Vegetable Stack is the perfect healthy meatless dish for a weeknight.

Nutritional Benefits:


References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 7200 food, wine, and culinary terms. 5th ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 2013. Print.

“26 Impressive Benefits of Rosemary.” Organic Facts, https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/rosemary.html.

All Things Bok Choy

Freshly picked selection:

Bok Choy

Bok Choy (also known as Chinese white cabbage, pak choy, and white mustard cabbage) is a member of the cabbage family.  Its flavor, however, is much milder than cabbage.  All parts of it can be eaten raw or cooked and it can be found virtually year-round, although the true season is summertime.

What do I look for?

The upper leaves should be vibrant green and the lower stems should be white. Look for bok choy that is crisp and bright.  The leaves should not be yellowing or wilted, and the stalks should not be brown.

Ways to Eat:

Eat bok choy raw or cooked!  It is delicious sliced and thrown into a stir fry, quick sauteed or roasted for a side dish, or even sliced and used in a salad.

Recipes:

One of the best things about bok choy is it’s quick to cook.  This 10-Minute Lemon Garlic Bok Choy recipe doesn’t disappoint with flavor and is on the table in under 10 minutes from start to finish!

This Basic Stir Fry recipe is essential when cooking with bok choy.  Top it with a lean protein for a delicious and healthy meal!

This flavorful and filling side dish incorporates sesame, lime, mushrooms, and cilantro with bok choy.  Try this Shiitake and Sesame Bok Choy recipe, you won’t be disappointed!

Nutritional Benefits:


References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 7200 food, wine, and culinary terms. 5th ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 2013. Print.

“Bok Choy.” Worlds Healthiest Foods, http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=152.

All Things Lime

Freshly picked selection:

Lime

Limes are small green citrus fruits that are similar in shape to a lemon.  They have a thin outer skin and 8 segments like other citrus fruits.  Limes were given to British sailors to prevent scurvy because of their high vitamin C content.  The Persian lime is the variety seen in most grocery stores while the Florida Key Lime is found throughout Florida, and some specialty stores outside of Florida.  Limes are grown in tropical and sub-tropical regions.

What do I look for?

Limes should have thin bright green skin that lightly gives when pressed.  Choose limes that feel heavy for their size.  Avoid limes that have hard dense skin.  Limes that have brown patches (scald) won’t affect their flavor.

Ways to Eat:

While limes are a delicious accompaniment and flavor enhancer, they are generally not eaten individually due to their acidity.  Add lime juice or zest to tacos, smoothies, beverages, soups…the list goes on.  Their natural acidity adds brightness to any dish you add it to.

Recipes:

This Roast Chicken with Scallion, Ginger, and Lime blends bright flavors for a delicious weeknight meal.

Who says you have to cook rice in water?  This Coconut Lime Rice is the perfect accompaniment to a fruit salsa and grilled protein such as chicken or steak.

These Vegan Mini Key Lime Pie’s are the perfect healthy play on Key Lime Pie.

Nutritional Benefits:


References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 7200 food, wine, and culinary terms. 5th ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 2013. Print.

“Lemon/Limes.” Worlds Healthiest Foods, http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=27.

Mediterranean 101

You may have heard that a Mediterranean style of eating can lead to a healthier life, but what does this mean exactly? There is a lot of information out there regarding the Mediterranean diet and we have pulled together what it really means for you and why it really should be considered a lifestyle and not a “diet”.

The Mediterranean way of eating is, of course, adapted from those who live in the Mediterranean.  Research suggests that following this eating pattern leads to decreased risk of heart disease, lower LDL levels, decreased incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, and cancer.

Eating foods that are rich in monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats such as olive oil, nuts, and some fish are hallmarks of this eating pattern.  Yes, fats (especially plant based fats that aren’t saturated) are good for you!  Eating the Mediterranean way doesn’t focus on limiting calories and fat consumption; it’s more about the types of fats and foods eaten.

Foods that are consumed frequently are fish, chicken (lean protein), nuts and seeds, lots of fruits and vegetables, olive oils, whole grains, whole grain breads and pastas, herbs and spices.  Salt should be used sparingly and most flavor should come from fresh herbs and spices.

The experience matters just as much as the food when you follow the Mediterranean lifestyle.  Cooking the meal and gathering with friends and family, as well as letting a meal last instead of rushing through, is ideal.  This way you are truly able to savor and listen to your body’s cues of fullness.  Having a glass of wine with dinner is common, though it is enjoyed thoughtfully and in moderation, if at all.

Red meat is typically consumed no more than once per week if that, and low fat dairy products are used instead of full fat. Choose unprocessed, unrefined oils (cold pressed is best) and avoid butter or any food high in saturated fats from animals, such as bacon or sausage.  Load up on a variety of in-season vegetables, whole grains, minimally processed breads and pastas, and raw or dry-roasted nuts and seeds.  Remove processed foods and avoid anything fried.  Skip dessert and enjoy a ripe piece of fruit instead.  Sugar should be consumed in small amounts if at all, and is more acceptable in the form of a natural sweetener.

Staying active is an important aspect of this lifestyle as well!  It doesn’t have to be strenuous, but walking, playing a game, and physically exerting yourself for energy, metabolism, and health is vital.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(image courtesy of Fundacion Dieta Mediterranea)

The Mediterranean lifestyle is a well-rounded lifestyle that includes food, activity, and socialization.  Following this lifestyle may be appropriate for you if you are looking to lead a healthier way of life in general.  Some aspects may not work for everyone, but generally, it is a good place to start for lifestyle change.

As always, speak to your practitioner if you are interested in following the Mediterranean way of eating to be sure it is appropriate for you, or you can make an appointment to speak to one of our PreviMedica nutritionists by contacting us at 855-773-8463.


Stefanie Gates, chef, is a regular contributor to our blog and a culinary advisor for PreviMedica. She enjoys developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. You can learn more about her here.

All Things Swiss Chard

Freshly picked selection:

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is actually a member of the beet family.  These leafy greens can have brilliantly colored stalks and veins such as orange, red, white purple, and more.  The varieties that are pale in color are lighter in flavor, and the varieties that are bold in color have a stronger flavor.  Chard originates from countries that border the Mediterranean Sea but is now produced worldwide.  You can find Chard year round, but it is best during the summer months.

What do I look for?

Chard should be bright in color and crisp with minimally damaged leaves.  The stalks should not be limp.  Chard should be stored loosely in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to three days after purchasing.

Ways to Eat:

It is recommended to boil chard (uncovered) to let the acids leach into the water.  The flavor will be more pleasant afterwards.  It can also be sauteed or steamed.

Recipes:

Keep it simple with garlic and lemon with this Sauteed Chard recipe.

This Sweet Potato and Chard Salad recipe balances bitterness of chard with sweetness of sweet potatoes.

Have a healthy snack or salad accompaniment by pickling the stems!

Nutritional Benefits:


References:

Herbst, Sharon Tyler. Food lover’s companion: comprehensive definitions of over 7200 food, wine, and culinary terms. 5th ed. New York: Barron’s Educational Series, 2013. Print.

“Swiss Chard.” Worlds Healthiest Foods, http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=16.

Coconut Flour Bread

We get a lot of requests for grain-free bread recipes that taste good and are simple to make.  Almond flour and coconut flour are both common and extremely versatile in the kitchen, but sometimes, almonds aren’t an option whether it’s an allergy or an avoidance.  This recipe utilizes coconut flour and coconut oil which are Candida “fighters”, and it includes erythritol, which is a plant based sugar alcohol that is appropriate to consume when following a Candida elimination plan.  You can feel good about having this bread whether you are eating it to stay grain free or eating it to fight Candida!

Coconut Flour Bread

Adapted from: dropthesugar.com

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 4 eggs plus 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. erythritol

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix the coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and erythritol together in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and eggs.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently fold until everything is incorporated.
  5. Lightly oil a bread pan and pour batter into bread pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes.

Stefanie Gates, chef, is a regular contributor to our blog and a culinary advisor for PreviMedica. She enjoys developing recipes and creating cooking videos to share with our readers, as well as working one-on-one with our clients to teach them valuable cooking skills. You can learn more about her here.

 

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